Electric-vehicle startup Nio on Saturday unveiled its first sedan, the ET7, during the company’s annual Nio Day presentation held in Chengdu, China.
Nio, often billed as the Tesla of China, is already accepting orders for the ET7 and plans to start deliveries in 2022. Pre-orders are limited to China but Nio has previously expressed an interest to expand to other markets.
The ET7 is priced from 448,000 yuan (approximately $69,160) with its battery included or 378,000 yuan without the battery, in which case owners will have to sign up for a battery subscription.
2022 Nio ET7
Three battery options are on offer, the biggest of which is a new 150-kilowatt-hour unit that Nio boasts can deliver 620 miles of range. The standard battery is a 70-kwh unit good for about 310 miles and the mid-range battery is a 100-kwh unit good for about 435 miles of range. All figures are based on the test cycle used in China and would likely register lower when rated using the EPA cycle.
Just the one powertrain has been announced, a dual-motor system generating a combined 644 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of peak performance. Nio quotes a 0-62 mph time of 3.9 seconds for the ET7.
As is the case with Nio’s other vehicles, the ET7 can have its battery swapped, via Nio’s own network of Nio Power battery stations. You simply drive into the station and an automated system handles the swap. Nio has hundreds of locations for battery swapping in China and has announced the deployment of a second-generation version of the system.
2022 Nio ET7
The ET7 is a big sedan, spanning 200.7 inches in length, making it about five inches longer than a Tesla Model S, its prime rival. Inside is an uncluttered dash with one screen serving as the instrument cluster and another, with a portrait orientation, serving as the infotainment hub. This can be controlled by a digital assistant known as Nomi, which is powered by AI and responds to voice commands.
Nio also fits the ET7 with its latest self-driving system known as Nio Autonomous Driving, or NAD for short. NAD is a complete self-driving system combining the sensing technology, control software and computing power that a self-driving car relies on to sense the world around it and decide what actions to take. It’s a powerful system comprising 33 sensor units including radar, lidar and high-resolution cameras, as well as four NVIDIA Drive Orin computers, and a vehicle-to-infrastructure communications system. NAD is designed to process eight gigabytes of data every second.
Nio hasn’t said what level of self-driving capability the NAD system will have at launch, though the company mentioned highway driving, parking and battery swapping as planned use cases for the ET7.